31 July 2010

Dog Soldiers DVD Review

Dog Soldiers film poster

Dog Soldiers: British horror cult classic


The Brits are no stranger to horror. Their classic Hammer films (such as Plague of the Zombies) rate amongst the best creature features in the history of cinema. Dog Soldiers carries on in this proud tradition. A no nonsense, splatter flick that manages to create tension and be entertaining while still sticking to the commandments of horror. No surprises, just stylish cinematography, lucid editing, quirky dialogue, blood, guts and werewolves.

Plot


Yes, there is some of that. I think.

Review


I accidentally stumbled upon the term Splat Pack on Wikipedia. This term refers to the new breed of directors who make excessively gory and violent films - as if there were such a thing as an excessively gory film.

What a ridiculous and absolutely unnecessary name for something that's already been labelled splatterporn or torture porn. Besides, the first Saw film can hardly be described as horror porn. Similarly, Neil Marshall's films can hardly be described as containing themes that glamorise violence. If anything, Quintin Tarantino films are horror porn. Or perhaps his films are best described as horrible porn. Splat Pack must be some homage to the Rat Pack or the Brat Pack. Well, pack is apt when it comes to Dog Soldiers.

Quintin Tarantino award image wikipedia
Quintin Tarantino winning an award. When you start winning awards like this, chances are your films suck.

Transformation


Central to the plot is the idea of transformation. This lycanthrope theme is something that reminds me of the ANC's attempts to start a media tribunal. The aim of this media tribunal is allegedly to combat the dangers of pornography. Specifically, the South African Film Publications Board is pushing for legislation whereby internet service providers would act as censors to filter pornography from the interwebz.

As we all know, the internet was made for porn. Regardless, let's not get ahead of ourselves and be hoodwinked to talk about pornography - which is exactly what the FPB and the ANC want. This is not about pornography. It is mind numbingly obvious that it is not the government's nor the FPB's role to dictate to parents what is appropriate for their children to watch.

If one looks at the recent media scandals on the political scene, such as the release of Schabir Shaik from prison due to a terminal illness that's about as terminal as an oxygen mask, the scandalous portrait of Nelson Mandela as the topic of the Anatomy Lesson of Dr Nicolaes Tulp (which only the savage mind can find offensive in any way) and the so-called tenderpreneurs riding the gravy train, it becomes abundantly clear that pornography is the last thing on the minds of our custodians of morality.

Similar to the werewolves in Dog Soldiers, such a censorship board can easily transform from an anthropomorphic friend to a zoo-tropic fiend. Half our government is already a bit far on the flea-carrying, animal side for my liking and in no position to lecture anyone on morality. Not even Hannibal Lecter.

No porn here


Fortunately, there is no porn in Dog Soldiers. None. Not even a werewolf dragging his nut sack across the lawn. You don't even see tits. Even if this retarded legislation goes through, we'd still be able to see films like Dog Soldiers in South Africa. In theory, at least, but in practice this is the coming of Zumababwe, or the return to the good old says during Apartheid when even Black Sabbath got banned.

Censorship means everyone loses


I really have no sympathy for children being exposed to porn. If you are a child living in a household where your parents don't even care to know you well enough to know what kind of material you download from the internet, then bare bottoms and naked breasts are probably the least dangerous things you get exposed to. If you are such negligent parents, you shouldn't be breeding. And the only thing government can fix is the national election.

The whole principle is wrong. It's like demanding that grown men live on skim milk because the baby can't have steak. - Robert Heinlein

Enough of the morons who run the country. If you aren't a savage then perhaps you'd appreciate some of Rembrandt's art. This is the painting that was referred to with the allegedly scandalous Nelson Mandela painting:

Rembrandt Anatomy Lesson of Dr Pulp image


For bonus marks, put two and two together and try to understand what the artist was trying to say with his inter text.

As for Dog Soldiers, it's brilliant (not the same kind of brilliance as the old master Rembrandt) and you can pick it up for a paltry sum in the bargain bins in South Africa because the FPB probably redistributed some of their busted pirate goods.

Director


Neil Marshall

Cast


Emma Cleasby
Liam Cunningham
Kevin McKidd
Sean Pertwee
Thomas Lockyer as Cpl. Bruce Campbell, no less

Rating


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